Reduce EDI Errors

Case Study: GS1 Standards Reduce EDI Errors (Seton Family of Hospitals and BD)

Seton Family of Hospitals (Ascension Health) manages pricing & product information for 445 locations. In past transactions between Seton Family of Hospitals and BD, both parties were identified with proprietary numbers: Seton Family of Hospitals with a BD-assigned SAP “Ship to” number and BD with a Seton-assigned item master “Supplier” number. For products, Seton Family of Hospitals was creating new proprietary product numbers for BD products using ID numbers from GPOs, distributors or BD catalogs and price lists. Assigning proprietary numbers that do not translate across the supply chain is a common practice of the healthcare industry. In addition, current data cleansing processes require significant resources. Incorrect data can create a variety of errors that result in costly rework.

Both BD and Ascension Health wanted to solve existing EDI errors caused by the lack of use of data standards. The two agreed to work together to use an integrated set of GS1 standards and GS1 US standards-based solutions. BD provided Ascension Health with subject matter expertise and guidance on usage of GTIN and GLN in EDI transactions, EDI mapping development, and help validating that all of the necessary GTINs had been allocated.

Ascension Health began assigning GLNs, integrating GTINs into their internal systems and preparing to use the GDSN. For party/location identification, Ascension Health assigned GLNs to Ascension Health facilities, including the Seton Family of Hospitals, and registered those GLNs in the GLN Registry for Healthcare. The MMIS customer account number was then populated with the appropriate GLN instead of BD’s “Ship to” identification number.

For product identification, Seton Family of Hospitals replaced and/or added the GTIN in its item master system and on Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) purchase orders. Once the GS1 identifiers were in place, it was time to address the item master information. Ascension Health analyzed transactional and ERP systems to map necessary changes, made system modifications, and tested the system using both GLNs and GTINs in EDI transactions.

Finally, Seton Family of Hospitals conducted a product purchase for BD Sharps Collectors using a GS1 standards-based 850 Purchase Order EDI transaction. The result: the right product arrived at the right location in the right quantity – a step in eliminating EDI errors in pursuit of the Perfect Order. Next Steps Based on the success of that transaction, BD and Seton Family of Hospitals now use GLNs and GTINs for all EDI transactions. Ascension Health has begun using a GDSN-certified Data Pool, 1SYNC, to clean its item master by synchronizing with BD product master data via the GDSN in a production system.

Once Ascension Health’s item master is cleansed, it will synchronize the system’s product master with all its hospitals. Ascension Health will then be ready to bring GS1 standards-based purchase transactions into production with BD and other suppliers across their entire system. BD is interested in the use of GS1 data standards globally.

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